Generation Y refers to the generation that was born between the early 1980s and the late 1990s. Due to demographic change, they are currently considered to be the most valuable skilled workers and thus represent the future viability of organizations.

Numerous experts and magazines as well as science are concerned about how an employer can be attractive to Generation Y. There are also numerous debates about what Generation Y really wants. From “ Crybots and lazy people “as well as from Top performers is the talk. But what does the generation really want and what should it achieve?

To this post got me Christoph pause and Dr. Winfried Felser inspired.

What does Generation Y really want?

The question in the headline is actually answered quickly. Generation Y is looking for meaning and needs feedback in their work. This is easy to say and even more difficult to implement.

Christoph Pause said the following in a comment on LinkedIn: “The meaning of the term career is probably changing. the goal of many students is certainly not to sit on some routine operational activity for the rest of their lives. But to become and stay a department head or head of production is no longer so attractive.

I think that he gets to the heart of the matter. It is specifically about the fact that people of Generation Y do not feel like permanent routine activities. I also experience this in my environment and many even only want to become managers so that home office becomes possible and can break out of routine (day-to-day business). It is not a hidden fact that managers are often better off than employees. Time already said: Working like a king uh, boss.

But is that the solution? Just become the boss? Christoph Pause goes on to say: “A lot of people I know want to be as effective as possible in different projects. To get involved where your own skills are particularly valuable, where work is fun – and where the result counts and not the time spent in the office.

His recommendation is that we should talk more about horizontal careers and that work should become more meaningful. I think he’s right about that. I experience a lot of layoffs, especially in my consulting industry, because the projects are not exciting and rather routine. In my current job, we solve this through staff conferences, in which we look for exciting projects for employees. The aim is constant further development and fun at work.

Reading tip: Agile career

What should Generation Y do?

But what exactly should Generation Y do in return? Dr. Winfried Felser: “ Dear young hopes, forget about grades and asterisks and prefer to rely on new experiences and networks. “The content of his article is that he reflects. He shows his career from high school with 1.0 to doctorate with 1.0 and defines this as a “vain end in itself” without “meaning in life”. He notes that great successes come from networks and contacts.

I also thought about myself a little afterwards. From studies with distinction to doctorates, start-up sales, specialist books and the executive even before my 30th birthday. However, I have to admit that I enjoyed it all and that everything from startup to doctorate was made possible thanks to excellent mentors and contacts in the network. How else have I been able to win 16 board members for my doctorate and guarantee the quality of the research. I was only the moderator, but the content came from experienced contacts in my network. Mentors also advised me on startup and career and at the very end is my doctoral supervisor, who has catapulted me out of my comfort zone every day for 3 years.

I have to Dr. Felser agree that he says that successful people of Generation Y do not determine the awards but the network. In his article he examines selected “young hopes” and draws the conclusion: “They let us hope for great things, not because they are narrowly building their careers, but because they use platforms for special experiences and networks in their lives.”

Reading tip: Generation management

Image source: Business photo created by javi_indy –

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I blog about the influence of digitalization on our working world. For this purpose, I provide content from science in a practical way and show helpful tips from my everyday professional life. I am an executive in an SME and I wrote my doctoral thesis at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg at the Chair of IT Management.

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